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Do I have to tell the police my shotgun is being repaired?

A reader wonders what he should do whilst his gun is being fixed. Bill Harriman replies for Shooting Times.

tell police my shotgun is being repaired

You don't have to inform the police that your shotgun is being repaired

Q: I need to put my shotgun into a gunsmith for restoring and servicing. When I do so, do I have to tell the police my shotgun is being repaired?

A: No, because this is a temporary process that does not constitute a transfer. When you take it in, ask the gunsmith for the details of his registered firearms dealer’s certificate (name, address and police registration number) and for a written receipt. Keep those with your certificate so that you can account for the gun’s whereabouts if asked. The receipt will also prove that you have title to the gun (that is, you own it) if anything happens. It is also good practice to require a written quotation from the gunsmith detailing work to be done, the cost and an approximate date when it will be ready. Additional costs will need to be agreed before work starts.

There is no need to inform the police because the return of a gun for work is not a transfer in law. There is no need for the record to be changed because you are still in legal possession of the gun.

An email acknowledging that the registered firearms dealer (RFD) has the gun for repair, giving its full description — bore, make model type and serial number — is enough for you to show that the gun is temporarily away from you. If you are using a courier, keep a copy of the courier’s receipt and tracking number as well.

Read here on why it’s always worth getting your shotgun professionally cleaned. 


It’s almost always worth the money to get a gun professionally repaired rather than have a friend look at it. A skilled gunsmith will know where to get spares, modify parts or even make new parts.

However spares are usually readily available for a modern gun.